While there are many ways that you can shrink your liquor inventory through employee theft, bottle services are one such way where the inventory dollars lost can escalate quickly. Having secured controls on your inventory and the operating procedures for your host staff will help to reduce some of those potential liabilities.
When you evaluate the execution procedures for your bottle services, you might start to pinpoint areas where a breakdown can occur, making theft easier and far less detectable. Let’s explore some of the methods and breakdowns that we have seen in various nightclubs and entertainment venues that have lead to employee theft.
One of the easiest ways a waitress or hostess can sneak entire bottles out of your inventory without you realizing it is when these employees have a carte blanche access to the inventory. On one hand it makes logistical sense to allow these employees to bring out bottles for their tables at their discretion and time frame. Having to involve another bartender or manager to get the bottles not only makes the service take longer, but also eliminates the sales that could be made by that bartender if they were not caught up retrieving bottles.
Unfortunately, without that check and balance you have no way to monitor how many bottles are leaving your storerooms and if they are actually being paid for. We have found that losses of this nature occur even unintentionally. A waitress that is distracted during a busy service and forgets to charge for an additional bottle that was served still incurs a loss, even if it was not intentionally stolen.
The next part of having open access to full liquor bottles is that a waitress might take a bottle under the premise that it is for one table, but actually gives it to another party. This can happen with other tables that have paid for a bottle service, but it also can be given to other patrons that do not have the service.
When you work in a club over a length of time, you start to know and befriend your regular customers. Some employees may take advantage of open access to the bar’s inventory to help their new friends out.
Some ways this can be prevented is by limiting who has access to bottle inventory. There can be a policy in place that all inventory must be rung up, tallied, etc before it leaves a stock room. Wait staff can be limited to only one table, if they are seen at another table, which should raise questions as to their involvement. Finally, if patrons are seen with full bottles (instead of portioned cups) beyond VIP tables and areas, questions should be raised as to why they have a full bottle in their possession.
Managers, bartenders, and even security should keep an eye out for these potential signs of losses at the hands of an employee. It is one thing to have losses from a bartender over pouring, or handing out a few extra drinks. Having a wait staff hand out entire bottles of liquor for free is a completely different escalation of profit loss.
All of the most prominent nightclubs, bars and venues in New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Virginia Beach, Washington D.C., and Las Vegas use Bottle Services for their best clientele. Don’t let your nightclub miss out on this VIP experience.